There were no signs of forced entry on the cold December morning when a Canadian billionaire businessman and his wife were found dead inside their mansion, reportedly hanging from a railing at the edge of their indoor pool.
Since that time, investigators have scoured the 12,000-square-foot home, hauled away the couple’s cars and even checked the sewers in one of Toronto’s most exclusive neighborhoods for clues. But police haven’t made any arrests or announced a search for any suspects nor have they said practically anything publicly about the deaths of drug company founder Barry Sherman and his wife, Honey.
Sherman was a fiercely competitive businessman, once musing that a rival might want to kill him. The day after the bodies were found, prominent media outlets, including the Toronto Star, quoted unidentified police officials as saying it appeared to be a murder-suicide. But that theory, which was never publicly confirmed by authorities, was dismissed out of hand by people who knew the philanthropic and politically connected couple, saying it would be wildly out of character.
Such a scenario was also ruled out by the couple’s four adult children, who hired their own investigator and pathologist to conduct second autopsies on the Shermans, who were killed days before heading south to their winter home in Palm Beach, Florida.
“Nobody will support a theory of either murder-suicide or double suicide,” said Brian Greenspan, a lawyer for the family. “To everyone who knew them it’s inconceivable.”
Toronto police, called “irresponsible” by the family for the early reports of a murder-suicide, have declined to make any more public statements, aside from calling the deaths “suspicious,” leaving the media and people who knew the couple to speculate about what has become a tantalizing mystery.
The Star, citing unidentified experts hired by the family, reported Friday that the couple were tied to the rail with men’s belts, which resulted in the “ligature compression” that was the cause of death. The paper also said they had marks on their wrists that suggested their hands had been tied together, were wearing winter coats that had been pushed down their shoulders, as if to restrain them, and had no drugs in their system that would have caused their deaths. Greenspan declined to confirm the report.
Citing an unidentified source, Canadian Broadcasting Corp. said the family’s private investigators believe the Shermans were murdered by multiple killers but provided no evidence to back up the claim. Those investigators have not been to the house.